Unprepared but in pink: When Alberto Contador took control of the 2008 Giro d'Italia

Contador performs his 'Pistolero' salute after taking the maglia rosa at the 2008 Giro (Image credit: Sirotti)

On Sunday, May 25, the 2020 Giro d'Italia should have been coming to the end of its second week with a mountain stage featuring a summit finish at Piancavallo. With no Giro this May, and possibly not at all this year, we're winding the clock back, this time to 2008, and the corresponding stage 15, in the Dolomites, on the penultimate Sunday. 

Alberto Contador won the 2008 Giro but was never meant to be there in the first place. Here, he recounts how the 154km stage from Arabba to the Passo Fedaia/Marmolada proved a turning point, putting a wholly underprepared rider into the driving seat. 

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.